My understanding of psychopathic traits and behaviors (mostly based on Dr Robert Hare's studies) is that psychopaths think of and treat other people as mere objects, so, a psychopath who would "move mountains" for their own child is actually just thinking of that child as more of a thing that he or she owns, a possession; not as a distinct, separate, individual human being with their own needs and feelings who deserves care.

You are at most an expensive, shiny, high-status new car to a psychopath.

The psychopath will choose a person or people to have around, because the psychopath perceives that s/he can get ego-supply from that source (the person(s) supplies sex, money, attention, approval, or status, etc.)

So, as long as that source is giving the psychopath something the psychopath wants or needs, the psychopath will keep that person handy.

BUT if the ego-gratifying person for some reason stops supplying sex/money/status, or becomes ill and needs attention and care himself/herself, then the narcissist or psychopath will dump that person and find a replacement that is all-giving and expects nothing in return.

RE love and empathy:
I believe that love is a more mature or adult form of "attachment" or "bonding", and that we are hard-wired as human beings to "attach" to or "love" our primary caregivers, first. Healthy attachment to primary caregivers during infancy and childhood leads to the ability to trust and love others as an older child/teen/adult.

I believe that empathy is either present or absent in a person's inborn temperament due to their inherited genetic makeup, but the capacity to feel and express empathy is not present at birth.

Empathy does not begin to express until after infancy. I have seen a little toddler in diapers, a not quite two year old, who wished to comfort an adult who was crying, but normally true empathy doesn't start to appear until a child is a bit older, say, around 4 years old, but I'm sure that varies greatly from individual to individual. And a child who has the capacity for empathy can lose it through maltreatment.

From what I've read, there is more than one way that psychopaths (intra-species predators) can be caused.

(a) In some cases, severe, chronic, prolonged, and extreme maltreatment, abuse, or neglect can overcome genetic predisposition and *create* psychopathy in a child,
AND
(b) In other cases the lack of affective empathy (the lack of caring about the needs and feelings of others), the lack of a conscience (lack of caring about"right" vs "wrong"), the need for stimulation, the interest in cruelty and sadism, the predator behaviors, the desire to "win" at any cost", the lack of fear of punishment, etc. are genetically inherited, so that psychopathy can be present even in a person who is well-loved, very much wanted, and well-nurtured in childhood.

And, I suppose in some cases its more like half-and-half: psychopathy being generated in an individual who possesses a moderate amount of predisposing genetic psychopathic traits that are then "switched on" and cemented into place by a moderately abusive or negligent environment.

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